Heavy rains lead to rescues, road closures in Appalachia

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Heavy rain across Appalachia has led to water rescues, mudslides, road closures and power outages, officials said.

In Kentucky, officials in Magoffin and Pike counties declared a state of emergency Sunday due to damage from the flooding and some evacuations took place including at Salyersville Nursing and Rehabilitation.

The facility decided to evacuate residents to assure they remain safe, CEO Joshua L Calhoun said in a statement to WYMT-TV. He said residents were being taken to either a middle school or a hospital.

“While we do not have any water in the facility at this time and it is still accessible, due to the risk of flooding we made the decision to relocate," he said.

Multiple water rescues were reported in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia, authorities said.

In Kentucky, Wolfe County Sheriff Chris Carson rescued four adults and a toddler from a vehicle trapped in flood water by using a tractor with a front end loader, according to the sheriff’s Facebook page. Carson was able to get the people in the bucket and then to safety, the post said.

In Tennessee, four adults and an infant were rescued from a partially submerged truck that slid off a water-covered bridge, news outlets reported. In addition, a child was injured in Nashville when he tripped over a downed power line while playing outside, officials said.

High water and mudslides blocked roadways in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky, where flood warnings remained in effect Monday morning, the National Weather Service said.

In West Virginia, flooding hit some areas that were ravaged by power outages from ice storms last month. Floodwaters inundated roads in more than a dozen counties, highways officials said. The National Guard assisted with some evacuations Sunday night in the Dunlow area of Wayne County.

In Roane County, residents in one public service district were asked to conserve drinking water after a flooded water plant broke down and was inaccessible. The Clay Roane Public Service District said in a social media post that water tanks were dangerously low and cannot be refilled until the floodwaters recede and the problem is repaired.

Some schools were closed or delayed classes due to flooding concerns and about 18,000 customers were without power in Kentucky and West Virginia, according to poweroutage.us, a utility tracking service.

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